How to Fix LTE Not Working on Apple Watch Series 3

The only big difference between the Apple Watch Series 3 and its older generation is support for cellular data. With the Series 3, you can start making and receiving phone calls and text messages without carrying your iPhone with you.

The only problem is that even with a built-in cellular modem, your Apple Watch Series 3 can always fail to send or receive text messages and calls over LTE. Several people have already experienced this problem. Some people left their phone at home and went on with the watch as a standalone device. Unfortunately, they were unable to answer incoming phone calls from it.

If you’re an owner of the new device, you may also experience an issue with LTE where you can’t send or receive text messages on your Apple Watch. This is a known issue within the community, but no official update to fix this problem yet.

While you wait for a quick patch from Apple, here are a few things you can do if cellular data and LTE isn’t working on your Apple Watch Series 3.

Text Messages not sending on LTE

For the most part, sending and receiving messages on LTE seems to be the most common problem. I went out for a walk earlier, attempted to send a text message to a friend, but it didn’t work. Not a single text was sent, and it hung there until I walked back home and my Apple Watch reconnects with the iPhone.

If this is what’s going with your Apple Watch Series 3, give this instruction a shot.

  1. Open the Settings app > Messages
  2. Tap on Send & Receive
  3. Log in with your Apple ID
  4. Select the phone number issued to your Apple Watch along with your email address

From there, try sending a text message to yourself or a contact of your choice. The steps above forces your Apple Watch to send iMessage using your email address (signed in earlier) and not just the phone number on your iPhone.

Additional steps:

This is optional but recommended in case the instruction above didn’t help.

  • Make sure your Apple Watch is connected to a cellular network. This can found by looking for four green dots in the Control Center.
  • On your iPhone, open the Settings app > go to General > Reset > Reset Network Settings
  • Unpair and re-pair the Apple Watch with your iPhone

Cellular Won’t Connect on Apple Watch Series 3

Text messaging isn’t the only issue. Some users were unable to connect the cellular data feature with their phone provider. AT&T and Verizon customers are complaining about this problem on their Apple Watch.

If you can’t make or receive calls with your Series 3, chances are you need to setup a cellular program first.

  1. Turn off Wi-Fi on your iPhone
  2. Open the Watch app
  3. Select My Watch > Cellular
  4. Tap Set Up Cellular

Follow the on-screen instructions to establish a connection with your carrier. After that, you should be able to use cellular data on your Apple Watch Series 3. If the same problem continues to occur on your watch, you can either wait for Apple to release an iOS update (and watchOS update) to fix this LTE connectivity issue or return the product.

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  1. Warning! After 14 days Verizon will not take the watch back and give you a refund. I got tired of calling and asking for help. My watch 3 would not activate cellular and non-cellular calls were not reliable. I got my money back. That is the only solution at this time!

  2. I’m thinking of getting the new Apple Watch 3. In Rose gold. But on the fence trying to decide to get the cellular or Wi-Fi only. What do you think?

    • I asked myself and almost got the LTE watch, but I have hearing issues and in the end decided on the watch without LTE. I always have my phone with me it in lots of ways is part of my hearing aids. Where the watch is working out great is the fact I can see who is calling without pulling out my phone. Once I know I need to answer the call I answer it with my streamer that allows my phone and m hearing aids to communicate to each other. It is working great for me that way. I can also see if the text that just came in needs to be replied to and if that email needs to be answered.

  3. you can always get the LTE watch and not activate until these issues are ironed out, its not a contracted device so you are not forced to use the LTE feature

    • If you are having issues connecting your watch to cellular, you have to go to settings >cellular > cellular data options and make sure “voice and data” are selected. This fixed the issue for me, verizon had no idea how to help me!

  4. I’ve just used my Series 3 (LTE) at the gym for first time. I left my phone in my locker, turned on, but for the whole session, the data symbol on my watch was white, not green. The red ‘x’ was also displayed, showing my phone was out of range.

    Was my watch not using data because the phone was trying to connect to the WiFi? (It’s one of those networks you need to sign in to each time you use it, rather than auto-connecting). I wasn’t able to stream music or access data services at all. Any ideas? Do I need to ‘forget this network’?

    • The apple watch will not connect to any public wifi that requires a login, even thugh the wifi icon on the watch may light up.
      If you “forget” the network then the phone wont be able to use it either. You will have to manually connect the phone to the wifi if you want to use it later.

  5. THANK YOU!!! I was so frustrated and was on the verge of tacking the watch back. This totally fixed the issue. Verizon nor Apple chats were able to help with that.

  6. I was having trouble making calls and viewing apps with my 3, and no fix seemed to work. What finally took consisted of turning off my iPhone, making sure cellular was enabled, attempted a call – failed. Turned off my WiFi, and watched as my phone connected to the network! Tried a call and it worked! Not sure why, but I’m a much happier camper!

    • Hi Candy,
      Great response. Been having issues to, affecting numerous apps as well. Quite frustrating and Apple was not much help either. Your suggestion worked like a champ.

  7. I bought my watch beginning of July and it will not connect to cellular!!
    I am very aggravated, been on the phone several times with Apple support, they keep telling me to go into the store. Appointment times are impossible.


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